If This Blog Should Die

Gaystapo’s Dream.

Today this blog was suspended by WordPress for what might have been half a hour to a couple of hours. Readers have, I believe, not noticed anything, but I found access to the blog blocked with an ominous message stating my blog was suspended because of violation of the user’s agreement, and WordPress takes violations very seriously.

There was no indication of which one the alleged violation was, nor was there any email in my postbox (which you haven’t, but they do) stating the problem they had.

The oldest readers of this little effort will remember this had already happened once, in January 2011, when the PR man of an English Bishop (Good Lord, the English bishops have money for such things? Will such waste survive the new wind of “Francistroika”?) threatened legal action against WordPress when I, if memory serves, published by mistake the photo of the wrong bishop. This “incident”, besides making me aware of people of astounding pettiness, and probably without anything sensible to do to justify their wage, also showed me a couple of things of how WordPress works: they are fairly rapid in blocking a blog for new messages as soon as someone threatens with legal action, but will rapidly “unblock” the blog when the problem has been resolved.

This time, though, it was different; there was no indication of where the problem was, and normal service was resumed fairly rapidly without the need for me to make any change to the blog.

Not knowing anything of these technical matters, I dare to think only one of two must have happened:

1. The blog was blocked due to a technical mistake, seen and remedied within a short time.

2. Some genius complained about the content of the blog (“hater?”; “homophobic?”) and threatened legal action. WordPress blocked the site as a matter of course, someone gave a good browsing, and then decided everything is all right.

The blog has been working all right for some hours now, and I might (or not) receive an email from WordPress explaining what happened (technical mishap, or third party complaint). Still, this was a wake-up call.

This little blog is not so little anymore, and Google & Co. (I think Google is absolutely dominant, though) spread the word everywhere in the blogosphere. With the number of those who chance to read this blog, the number of homosexualists will grow, and the latter category is the only one some of whose elements may well desire to silence this little effort.

I do not have great resources of time, money and technological prowess to dedicate to the setting up and operation of an autonomous, self-hosted blog comparable to the old “Kreuz.net”, and for little blogs like mine in danger of hacker attack a hosted solution with a big blog provider is at the same time the most practical, most efficient and only feasible solution.

This means that, should WordPress one day decide my blog is “homophobic” or “hater”, I would be in front of the alternative between stopping my little effort or switching to Blogspot; but as to my knowledge Blogspot belongs to Google and is sure to be more politically correct than WordPress every day of the week, I am at a loss to think how I would react to a situation of Gaystapo intimidating WordPress to the point of wanting to “moderate” blogs like mine.

I have, therefore, an urgent appeal to all Catholic bloggers out there, to spend some time to tell me what other feasible options are available out there. What I would be looking for would be an organisation:

1. Allowing anonymous blogs.

2. Big and professional enough to withstand hacker attacks.

3. Taking freedom of expression very seriously and therefore legally located in jurisdictions with a reputation in the matter (like the US, or Sweden, or Switzerland; you can forget Germany, where the Gaystapo is clearly in power).

Again, self-hosted solutions would not work, but the aesthetic factor is secondary.

I will continue to use WordPress, with which I am very satisfied in the end; but today’s experience showed me every day can be the last day here on WordPress. Therefore, I’d like to have a “Plan B” ready to go, but to be used only in case of need.

Every input, with or without personal experiences with the relevant provider, would be very welcome.

Mundabor

Posted on March 18, 2013, in Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. The “Mundabor” blog is a must for rational thinking and analysis, long may it reign! Unfortunately, I am an ignoramus technical-wise and cannot help in that direction. It is one of the best three from a UK point of view.

    Are you publish the extent of your following?

    • My following is tiny indeed compared to the big blogs, and its particular nature (no free comments, and strict moderation; only one writer; utter political incorrectness; and Italian passion, which for most Anglos would be “uncharitable” or, which is the same, “sad”) will take care it never becomes a mass blog.

      I also tend not to say much about numbers, because I think focusing on numbers exposes one to the temptation of chasing them, a temptation of which I think most readers will consider me exempt…

      Every now and then, though, I vouchsafe to give some information.. 😉

      This is 2012 in review
      https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/mundabors-blog-2012-in-review/

      and the daily average is well above 1,000 pageviews a day, with a solidly growing trend.

      Events like the Conclave obviously create peaks, but it subsides after a while.

      M

  2. I use blogger, which doesn’t have such a friendly user interface (I’m told), and so far I have not had any trouble with suspensions. But then I am invariably polite to bishops, wouldn’t dream of mocking the useless and heretical ones….

    • Thanks, Bruvver!

      Does blogger require HTML knowledge to look good?

      (OK, yours doesn’t, but I assume it’s a choice.. 😉 .. )

      M

  3. I would recommend using wpengine – I run my own website with them and it receives nearly 20 million pageviews a month. They are an excellent service and their support is second to none. It is self-hosted in a sense (you can access all of your stuff on the back end) but they can manage the install (migration from here). The price ranges from $29 per month I believe.

    • Listverse, I have checked your site and, in fact, you aren’t a spammer! 😉 Congratulations!

      Thanks for the info, for the size of my blog the $99/month solution would soon become compulsory, which would be a sizeable expense for me. The issue of anonymity would also possibly remain (possibly not).

      Thanks so much for the info anyway!

      M

  4. I’ve never had a problem with Blogger and I say some pretty non-PC things. I think WordPress is waaaaay harder to navigate.

  5. Oh well, I have a spare wheel at blogger.

    http://mundabor.blogspot.co.uk/

    It will remain as it is for now, but I have taken the name and it might be useful in future.

    I am a bit worried about it being located in the UK, but perhaps it is only the name, with the server and legal machine located in the US.

    Thanks everyone for your help and if you have other suggestions please keep them coming!

    M

    • ‘I am a bit worried about it being located in the UK, but perhaps it is only the name, with the server and legal machine located in the US.’

      Mundabor, both WordPress and Google’s services are located in the United States (Google’s T&C’s: CA 94043, USA; WordPress T&C’s uses CA, USA for legal issues) even if the blogspot address you obtain is located in the UK, that’s just the server for services which lies within the US. You have some just concern for being worried over the UK Server.

      You actually maybe more safer with WordPress, especially since if you wished, you could run your own server, and place your blog on that server, like Father Z has done.

      (http://wordpress.org/hosting/)

      I know you said that you do not have much money, or technical know how, however bluehost is ridiculously easy according to Father Roderick VonHogen and really really cost effect. $3.95/mo. (should translate as £2.61/mo.) One click install from wordpress for the blog. Well, it’s a suggestion on blog hosting anyway.

      Just a bit of information regarding blogs in general:

      WordPress:

      15. Termination. Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.

      Source: http://en.wordpress.com/tos/

      Google T&C’s:

      Google may also stop providing Services to you, or add or create new limits to our Services at any time.

      Source: http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/

      I hope any of this was of help,

      God Bless.

    • Christopher, that was **extremely** useful.

      I will look at Bluehost, hoping they provide for anonymity (Paypal payment, hopefully; I do am fussy about that).

      Would you say Bluehost is hacker-safe (as far as one can be), or rather so-so?

      Father Z seems to have continuous issues with his servers, and technical equipment. But he has a huge blog, which I haven’t. The hassle and waste of time is really not in my plans.

      M

      P.s. apart from their ability to stop everything, do I have any reason to believe WordPress will be more PC-nanny than Bluehost?

      Thanks again!

      M

  6. Received this from WordPress:

    “We experienced a temporary technical problem that made some sites appear incorrectly as being suspended. This issue has been resolved.

    If you still see any errors with your site, please write back with the WordPress.com address for your site and we’ll be happy to take a look.”

    I am glad to have taken some steps anyway.

    if you have good alternatives to WordPress/Blogger, please keep the messages coming!

    M

  7. This has happened to me once before, though my content is about the polar opposite of yours. It’s not because WordPress is the “gaystapo”. In my case, I suspect that somebody complained about my site because they didn’t like what I said, same as yours. They blocked first, asked questions later, and then ultimately decided I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Though this is all speculation on my part; they didn’t get back to me about whether they had been responding to a complaint or if it had been a technical glitch.

    • Thanks, Sara.
      In my case it would seem the first time it was a complaint – and as you say they “blocked first, asked questions later”, but today apparently it was a glitch.

      In doubt, in future I think I’ll ask, then I’d like to know how easy it is to have a blog “blocked first”.

      M

  8. ‘I will look at Bluehost, hoping they provide for anonymity (Paypal payment, hopefully; I do am fussy about that).’

    They allow Paypal (https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/441).

    ‘Would you say Bluehost is hacker-safe (as far as one can be), or rather so-so?’

    Bluehost facilities include our 50,000 square foot headquarters with two secondary data centers locations totaling over 20,000 square feet of data center space. (http://www.bluehost.com/cgi/info/about_us)

    So if you’re worrying about DDOS (Distributed Denial of Services), which is basically a flood of traffic designed to bring the website offline, Bluehost servers will automatically counter it by increasing bandwith at what seems to be no expense to you whatsoever.

    The other type of attack is basically infilitrating your server (that is Bluehost’s server) which provide the security. Bluehost use a their ‘own custom linux kernel’. Linux is ridiculously safe and is used on most servers. If you wish to ask them about their server security they have a live chat on their homepage (http://www.bluehost.com/).

    The final type of attack I know of is infiltrating your account, as usual be protective of your password and personal information, make your password extremely long (16 characters preferable, capital and small letters, numbers and characters such as ‘@[(*) if possible’.

    ‘Father Z seems to have continuous issues with his servers, and technical equipment. But he has a huge blog, which I haven’t. The hassle and waste of time is really not in my plans.’

    If I recall correctly, that is Father Z’s own physical server that he owns, I maybe wrong about that though. Bluehost apparently do much of the work so you do not have to regarding the server itself.

    ‘P.s. apart from their ability to stop everything, do I have any reason to believe WordPress will be more PC-nanny than Bluehost? ‘

    Bluehost servers I think are located in the USA, where Freedom of Speech still exists. As long as you do not violate the laws of the land, you should be fine with Bluehost.

    WordPress:

    http://wordpress.org/about/philosophy/

    ‘Our Bill of Rights

    WordPress is licensed under the General Public License (GPLv2 or later) which provides four core freedoms, consider this as the WordPress “bill of rights”:
    ■ The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
    ■The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
    ■The freedom to redistribute.
    ■The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.’

    So if you place WordPress on your own server,you would only need to worry about the server. As far as I understand it anyway.

    For more information on Bluehost I’d recommend the Chat at http://www.bluehost.com/.

    Regarding the price:They have crossed out $6.95 and brought it to $3.96, I’m not sure if that is permanent or temporary. If $6.95, it should translate to about £4.51. If all fails, they have a ‘Anytime Money Back Guarantee’.

    Again, I hope this is of much help. I do not use Bluehost, but I’ve heard about it from Father Roderick and thought from what I know of it, it would be a suitable solution.

    Please delete the previous post, I somehow caught the post button by mistake on an incomplete posting.

    God Bless.

    • Regarding WordPress.org and WordPress.com, WordPress.org if I understand correctly is the Software, which quoted above gives you the four core freedoms. Whereas WordPress.com is their software and their servers. If I understand correctly.

      God Bless.

    • wordpress.com hosts for you (for free). The blog you are reading does not cost me a penny.

      WordPress.org is the software solution you can install wherever you want, on your own server (physical or contracted to a third party).

      M

    • Thank you so much, Christopher! Very useful!

      M

%d bloggers like this: